Thank you for the kind words and for asking the question about mid-career professionals.
Mid-career professionals can feel a bit 'out of place' in a very young setting. Did you take concrete steps to avoid this?
Initially we thought the mid-career professionals and the "younger" participants will have separate groups during the retreat (i. e. sit together in one table as a group). Fortunately, this wasn't the case. ☺️ Most of the mid-career professionals had something to share about their careers and experience, some were invited as speakers and panelists, and the younger participants were very eager to ask follow-up questions and for more specific advice during down times (lunch, one-on-ones, night time socials).
One thing that helped younger professionals and students approach the mid-career professionals was the attendee deck. We asked all attendees to fill out their profiles with their short bio, how people can help them, and how they can help others. I observed some people reading someone's profile and listing questions to ask that someone.
Did these people all knew each other from the start, as EA can be a bubble?
Not entirely sure but most people knew each other through online EA PH events and were only meeting in-person for the first time in the retreat. A few of the attendees regularly see each other when they attend our monthly in-person community meetup.
Do you have an idea of what were the benefits of mixing with students for mid-career people?
The biggest benefit mid-career professionals can gain from mixing with students during the retreat would be new and fresher perspective. I think during the retreat, mid-career professionals gained more by connecting and initiating collaboration with other mid-career professionals. Admittedly, I think we designed the program mostly for a younger setting so the mid-career professionals were mostly guests/speakers/panelists who could impart knowledge and give advice. We did have activities that mid-career professionals really appreciated such as the Personal Theory of Change workshop by Red Bermejo and the Professional's workshop on Empowered Decision-Making by Roc Bata. I do wish we had more activities dedicated for career enrichment of this demographic.
I hope I answered your questions, feel free to ask followup questions. Happy to chat more with you if you'd like! :> You can contact me on my LinkedIn :D
Hi there! I'd love to have a chat with you :D You can contact me on my LinkedIn :D